Physico-chemical characteristics of mucus glycoproteins and lipids of the human oral mucosal mucus coat in relation to caries susceptibility

B. L. Slomiany, V. L.N. Murty, I. D. Mandel, G. Zalesna, A. Slomiany

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34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mucus coat was isolated from oral epithelial surfaces of caries-resistant and caries-susceptible subjects, analysed for content and composition of lipids and mucus glycoproteins, and evaluated for physico-chemical characteristics. The mucus coat from caries-resistant subjects had a protein content similar to that of the caries-susceptible group but a higher content of carbohydrate and a lower content of lipids and covalently bound fatty acid. The carbohydrate component was mainly mucus glycoprotein, which accounted for 28.4% of the dry weight of caries-resistant mucus and 25.3% of caries-susceptible mucus. By Chromatographic analysis on Bio-Gel A-50, both types of preparations had high (Mr ≈ 2000 kdalton) and low (Mr ≈ 300 kdalton) molecular-weight mucus glycoproteins. In the caries-susceptible mucus coat these two glycoproteins were in similar proportions, whereas the low molecular-weight glycoprotein predominated in caries-resistant mucus. In both preparations, the high molecular-weight glycoprotein was characterized by a high content of carbohydrates, associated lipids and covalently bound fatty acids, whereas the low molecular-weight glycoprotein was richer in protein and contained lesser amounts of associated and covalently bound lipids. Although the low molecular-weight glycoprotein showed only minor compositional differences with caries status, the high molecular-weight glycoprotein of the caries-resistant group had a 2.5 times lower content of covalently bound fatty acid, a 1.3 times lower content of associated lipids and contained 1.2 times more sulphate and sialic acid then that of the caries-susceptible group. The mucus coat of caries-resistant individuals differed from that of caries-susceptible subjects with respect to viscosity, permeability and hydrophobicity. The caries-resistant mucus coat had 1.4 times lower viscosity, a 1.3-fold reduction in glucose diffusion retardation capacity and a lower binding affinity for a fluorescent hydrophobic probe. Similar differences in physical characteristics in relation to caries status were also displayed by the high molecular-weight mucus glycoproteins, but there were only minor differences between the low molecular-weight mucus glycoproteins of the two groups. Thus the oral mucosal mucus coat of caries-resistant individuals differ from that of caries-susceptible subjects in physico-chemical characteristics; these differences reflect the distribution of different mucus glycoprotein molecular forms and their content of associated and covalently bound lipids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology

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